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Monday, March 21, 2011

Churches - Basilica De Bom Jesus


If your planning a vacation to Goa, do not forget to include a visit to the "Basilica De Bom Jesus" church , now declared as a World Heritage Monument/Site . This church is situated at Old Goa , around 9 kilometers from the capital Panaji. This is chuch is dedicated to "Bom Jesus" and stands a witness to an event in Christian history. "Bom Jesus" means "infant Jesus" or "Good Jesus".

As mentioned in the Latin records , the construction of this church was started way back on 24th November 1594 and  was completed on 15th May 1605. The church was consecrated by Fr. Alexio de Menezes , the then Archbishop of Goa.



The design of Basilica De Bom Jesus is a fine specimen of Jesuit architecture and was inspired by the church of St. Paul, which is now in ruins. The three-storeyed facade of Basilica De Bom Jesus , delicately carved  with basalt embellishments is one of the richest in Goa. At the top of the facade you can see an intricately carved basalt medallion which depicts the emblem of the society of Jesus.



The columns depict the fine use of classical orders, in the Renaissance style .As you move to the interior of the church , just above the entrance you will notice a choir supported by columns. One is sure to be mesmerized by the Mosaic Corinthian style interiors of the church. The grand marble floor is adorned with precious stones. 



The church houses two chapels, a main altar, a sacristy and a belfry at the back. Apart from these, the church also has a rich collection of paintings related to various instances from the life of St. Francis Xavier.Altars dedicated to St. Michael and to Our Lady of Hope are also present .


The church houses the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa. St Francis Xavier is also known as "Goencho Saib" meaning "Lord of Goa". The saint died while on a sea voyage to China on December 2,1552. In accordance with his wishes , his remains were transferred to Goa the following year. 

An exposition / public viewing of his body is held every 10 years.

During this time , devotees all over the world gather at this church to offer their prayers and get a glimpse of the holy relics of the saint, which now lie in a silver casket. 



The saint is believed to have had miraculous healing powers and were experienced by the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad when he came for the Exposition of 1878.

The Feast of St. Francis Xavier is held every year on the 3rd of December. This was the day he was buried - after nine days of prayer, called the Novena. 

Various ceremonies are hosted in order to honor the Saint's death. The gardens and wide open spaces that are usually deserted otherwise , are flocked with thousands of people on this occasion.
So the next time your in Goa do not miss the opportunity to visit this place!




10 comments:

  1. nice view in goa, my fren visited somewhere castle there

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  3. i will be visit to basilica de bom jesus...if i have more money...he he thank u.

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  4. thank u dear friends for your comments! Keep visiting!

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